‘Empire’ Creators Still Hope to Film a Proper Series Finale: ‘Stay Tuned!’

Fox drama’s final season was cut short due to COVID-19

Empire finale
Chuck Hodes/FOX

“Empire” isn’t getting the grand send-off it was supposed to thanks to coronavirus, but co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong aren’t letting go of all hope yet.

In dual statements put out on Tuesday, both executive producers reflected on the show’s success across the past six seasons, adding that they hope to one day get a chance to film the proper series finale they had envisioned.

“The success of Empire and bringing the Lyon family to broadcast television will always be one of the proudest achievements of my career,” said Daniels. “This show is the definition of breaking barriers. Thank you to our incredible cast, especially Terrence and Taraji, along with our amazing writers and tireless crew, for all of their hard work and bringing this story to life. I think there’s more to do with these characters, and I’m heartbroken we aren’t getting to shoot the finale we wanted–at least not yet. But you know what they say in television? Stay tuned! To the Empire!”

Added Strong, “We’re so proud of this show and of everything this incredible cast – led by Taraji and Terrence- and crew accomplished over six seasons. The episode airing on April 21 was never meant to be the series finale, but due to current events it will likely be the last one our fans will see for a while. We had an ending for the series planned that we all loved, and hopefully someday we’ll be able to film it and give the series its proper conclusion. But we hope everyone tunes in to our last original episode, because the work done by our cast and crew deserves to be seen by the widest audience possible. Big thank you to Fox for being our home for these many years. And here’s hoping this isn’t the end!”

“Empire” was originally set to wrap its run next month, but due to coronavirus shutdown, the final two episodes of the season were unable to be completed in their entirety. Work on episode 19 had to stop after partial production had been completed, and episode 20 is no longer happening at all. Instead, next week’s episode was recut with some of the footage from episode 19 in order to create a more satisfying finale. There is currently no plan for the show to return.

Here’s the logline for next week’s episode, titled “Home Is On the Way”:

In the midst of the Bossyfest launch and the fight to regain control of Empire, Cookie reflects on her life and the woman she has become. Lucious finds it impossible to deny his feelings for Cookie, while continuing to support Yana (guest star Kiandra Richardson) and her rise to stardom. When the Lyons face their biggest threat yet, Lucious prepares for the battle of his life and realizes that in the end, family is what matters the most.

The final episode of “Empire” airs Tuesday, April 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.